Spartan regroup for Raiders
The Superior High School football team finds itself in an unfamiliar position.
After getting off to a 4-0 start, the Spartans are coming off their first loss of the season with a 31-24 defeat at the hands of Eau Claire Memorial.
The Spartans now host the Hudson Raiders, who come to town undefeated with records of 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the Big Rivers Conference.
"Despite being young and lacking varsity experience, our kids have been very resilient and are working very hard in practice,” SHS coach Bob DeMeyer said. “I really like how they've been focused and working to get better this week."
Superior is focusing on a Hudson team that averages 43.2 points a game and owns wins over Kenosha Indian Trail (48-20), Stevens Point (48-20), River Falls (28-27) and Eau Claire North (49-7).
Hudson senior quarterback Keyser Helterbrand has completed 43-of-70 passes for 669 yards and five touchdowns. He also has 286 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns.
Keyser has several receivers to throw to including seniors Ben Karls (17 catches for 240 yards and three TDs) and Charlie Pierce (12 catches for 160 yards and two scores). Junior Matt McDevitt also has four catches for 147 yards.
Senior Cole Danielson is a double threat out of the backfield with 437 yards and seven TDs rushing, and eight catches for 117 yards.
“Hudson is consistently one of the top Division 1 programs in the state and they surely are again this year,” DeMeyer said. “Their offense is very diverse. They have a big-time quarterback and wideouts, slot receivers and running backs that are experienced and explosive.”
Senior Cody Cicha leads Hudson on defense with 36 tackles (29 solo), two sacks and a fumble recovery. Junior Torin Phillips is next with 20 tackles (11 solo) and a sack.
"Defensively, they return several key players from last year and they are solid at every level,” DeMeyer said.
DeMeyer said quarterback Jarrett Gronski will be back in the starting lineup. Then junior rushed for a game-high 169 yards on 24 carries before leaving the game early in the fourth quarter with a leg injury.
DeMeyer also said Conner Fonger is questionable. The senior missed the previous two games with an injury, but gave Superior an early 7-0 lead over ECM with a 4-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Fonger had 60 yards on five carries before suffering another injury in the second quarter.
"Jarrett is great, 100 percent,” DeMeyer said. “Conner is still questionable, but there's no doubt he gave us a huge spark last week when he was in there. He's doing everything to get back as soon as possible -- we're just not sure when that will be."
Gronski leads the Spartans on the season with 494 yards rushing and eight touchdowns. He has also completed 17-of-34 passes for 332 yards and seven TDs.
Caden Stone is second in rushing with 206 yards and two TDs, while James Bronson has caught five passes for 91 yards and four TDs. Brady Herbst (95 yards) and Fonger (36 yards) both have four catches and Cody Kurki has caught two passes, both for touchdowns.
Big Rivers Conference
2018 Football Standings
Hudson (4-0) 2-0
Rice Lake (4-0) 2-0
Eau Claire Mem. (2-2) 1-1
Superior (3-1) 1-1
River Falls (3-1) 1-1
Menomonie (3-1) 1-1
Chippewa Falls (2-2) 0-2
Eau Claire North (0-4) 0-2
Friday, Sept. 7
Hudson 49, Eau Claire North 7
Eau Claire Memorial 31, Superior 24
Rice Lake 34, Chippewa Falls 13
River Falls 25, Menomonie 18
Friday, Sept. 14
(All games at 7 p.m.)
River Falls at Rice Lake
Eau Claire North at Menomonie
Chippewa Falls at Eau Claire Memorial
Hudson at Superior
Friday, Sept. 21
Menomonie at Hudson
Superior at Chippewa Falls
Eau Claire Memorial at River Falls
Rice Lake at Eau Claire North